Is it possible to develop artus® kits for the simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens (multiplex PCR)?
FAQ ID -1382

artus® kits are designed to detect one particular pathogen and allow subtype determination where applicable (e.g. HSV-1 vs. HSV-2 or Mycobacteria subtyping). In addition, the internal control is detected in a separate fluorescence channel (duplex PCR). Due to limitations of available fluorophores and specifications of real-time PCR instruments, reliable multiplexing is difficult to achieve.

In addition, multiplexing an assay may drastically affect the sensitivity of the individual pathogen detections. This is predominantly due to competition between the reactions for the same PCR resources. For instance, an HBV-HIV multiplex PCR could result in a significantly reduced detection sensitivity of either of the two assays if one of them is strongly positive. As a consequence, for example, a mild HBV infection could remain undetected if simultaneously HIV RNA is amplified at a high rate.

We are currently developing a new feature for the artus Transplant panel on the QS-RGQ called “Parallel Cycling”. The IC will be harmonized among all the artus Transplant assays and the elution volume will be increased to 110μl in order to allow our customers to split one single eluate into 4 different PCR reactions for any of the 5 Transplant parameters. Given that the cycling parameters for all the artus Transplant assays are identical, our customers will be able to run the 4 PCR reactions in parallel. This means that the customers will be able to test 4 Transplant parameters in parallel from 1 single sample in a single run on the QS-RGQ. The current plan is to launch Parallel Cycling by the end of 2012.